Yeah, technically I live in Los Angeles, yet this time of year, with all my travel, a duffel bag feels more like home. So when I do find myself at my home address, I like to get out on the bike as much as possible, with camera en tow. Earlier this week, I asked Kyle if he wanted to do a ride. Initially I was thinking of riding up Hwy 2 on a road ride, but that quickly evolved into a bigger undertaking.
Mt Lowe has been the subject of many rides here on the Radavist and rightfully so. It’s a doozie of a climb, much shorter than any other route up to Mt. Wilson’s 5,712′ peak and consequently, much, much steeper. The kind of steep where even MTB gearing is quickly bottomed out and your legs burn with each rotation as you climb in a series of necessary zig zags along the broken paved roadway. Eventually, the grade levels out once it turns to dirt, but for the beginning 6 miles or so of this climb, you’re in a dark, painful place.
No matter how many times I’ve ascended Lowe, I’m always humbled by it. Not necessarily through some suffer-induced form of personal gratitude, but through taking in the majestic views the San Gabriel mountains have to offer. These dry and arid peaks have been getting some rain this winter, resulting in a bloom unlike anything I’ve witnessed in Los Angeles. Every plant is a full-on pollen factory as it blooms with life after living for years, parched by the unforgiving sun. Plants weren’t the only thing sated on this ride. It’s exactly the warm welcome I was hoping for.
Once Kyle and I exited Mt. Lowe we headed up to the top of Mt. Wilson before heading back down Mt. Wilson Toll Road, a road I’ve only heard of. Here’s where it got fun, especially on my Crema 27.5 x 2.2″ machine. I railed everything, hit all the water boards with speed as they booted me into the air and further down the trail, only slowing up to roost a corner and wait for Kyle, who was having a slight mechanical issue.
We railed the dirt and surfed the somewhat sticky sand, stopping for photos, or appreciating the nuances that exist in a mountain range that is in a constant state of erosion.
As the sun fell, we descended back to the city of 10 million people, where fish burritos and coconut water awaited us, and where Max greeted us with a wagging tail… The route provided 55 miles and around 6,500′. All within the city of Los Angeles.